Science Days summer campers don’t just learn about the human body’s immune system. They mix up a batch of fake snot.
That was just one of several hands-on activities that students completed during Science Days at PBA, a week-long science camp at Palm Beach Atlantic University. The camp ended Friday.
|Dr. Fred Browning, right, looks on as volunteer Ivan Martinez assists student Jeffrey Larrabee with an air pump during a Science Days water rocket exercise.|
On Thursday, Dr. Christine Brooks, assistant professor of nursing at PBA, taught a group of third- through fifth-graders how to make their own fake mucous with a little gelatin, corn syrup, water and the magic of science. During the experiment, she informed the students about the way in which mucous helps rid the body of germs.
"I think it was pretty awesome and kind of disgusting,” said 11-year-old camper Sidney O’Gorman.
This year, 45 students in grades K through 5 participated in Science Days, which is presented by the University in partnership with Bank of America. The camp included various types of activities, each with different scientific focus such as ecology, pharmacy/compounding, chemistry/medical chemistry, oceanography and physics.
This is the second year of the camp. This year for the first time, five students from Glade View Elementary received scholarships to attend the camp and to live on campus in Baxter Residence Hall.
For Glade View student Solene Fleuricot, 10, spending a week on a college campus was “better than the fair and Islands of Adventure,” she said.
Another Glade View student, Michael Simmons, 10, said he enjoyed making water rockets the best, followed by doing chemistry experiments in the lab. One of the experiments involved creating chemical explosions inside a container.
"I like to see the explosions," he said. "It’s fun."
Like Michael, Lake Park Baptist student Olivia Carrino, 10, also enjoyed launching water rockets. "We made rockets out of things that were all recyclable," she said.
Olivia said she also enjoyed interacting with the professors. "They teach you the same stuff they teach in college, just in smaller portions."
Along with Dr. Brooks, several other PBA faculty members participated in Science Days: Dr. Fred Browning, associate professor of physics; Dr. Curt Carlson, assistant professor of pharmacy; Dr. Matthew DellaVecchia, assistant professor of chemistry and pharmaceutical science; and Dr. Adwoa Nornoo, associate professor of pharmaceutical science.
In addition, two PBA alumni also made presentations to the students. Brittany Kielar, a spring graduate, taught the campers about the ecosystem, while Chris Koch, '90, brought his popular Jurassic Parts educational program to Science Days. Koch led sessions on gem panning and shark teeth.
"The faculty had fun," said Dr. Keysha Bryant, assistant professor of pharmacy practice and director of Science Days at PBA. "The counselors were great. I just think it’s a blessing we’re all working together to make it happen. I thank them for having a servant heart to want to help."
Dr. Brooks said she decided to join the Science Days faculty after learning about the camp last year. She said that despite the campers' young age, they seemed to be learning the concepts of the digestive and immune systems.
"They’re hungry for the information," Dr. Brooks said. "For some of them maybe they hate science, but maybe this turns the corner."